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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Exploring South India - in God's Own Country Kerala

Many years ago, I visited couple of places in Kerala with some friends. That time I was in Bangalore (in these so many years Bangalore has become Bengaluru!) and I was always on the lookout to travel to different parts of Southern India.

Kerala is one of the many states in the southern part of India (others being Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka). Kerala is also know as God's Own Country due to its natural beauty and greenery.

Reaching Kerala - Chalakudi, the First Stop

We took a private travels bus to a place in Kerala called Chalakudi. We started from Bangalore in the evening and reached Chalakudi next morning.

At Chalakudi, we had our breakfast consisting of typical Kerala food - though it's been more than 5 years I still remember eating Appam! There is a water fall also in this place which we visited.

Munnar

From Chalakudi, if I remember correctly, we traveled to a place called Munnar which is regarded as one of the best hill-stations in Kerala (or is it the whole of Southern India, I am not very sure). As we reached Munnar late in the evening, we couldn't find any decent budget place to stay.

We managed to be the "paying guest" of someone who was working in the Tea Estates of Munnar. There are many Tea Gardens in Munnar which makes Munnar a place worth visiting. The Western Ghats and greenery add immensely to the beauty of Munnar.

Kottayam and Alappuzha (Alleppey)

From Munnar, I remember starting for Kottayam the next morning. We passed through many places on the way and reached Kottayam in the evening where we took a night halt. The next day, we took a back water boat ride from Kottayam till Alappuzha (Alleppey).

The back water boat ride took around 5-6 hours with halt at a place where we ate Lobsters and another place where we had our lunch. While traveling by the boat, I requested the boat pilot if I could also steer the boat for some time. He did agree and I took command for some time!

Ernakulam (Cochin) and Kozhikode (Calicut)

After reaching Alappuzha (Alleppey), we started out immediately for Ernakulam (Cochin). We came to know about the Naval base in Cochin and also the Fort Cochin but couldn't go to either of them.

We traveled further on and if I remember correctly, we took a night halt either at Thrissur or at Kozhikode (Calicut).

The next day morning we went to see the beach near NIT Calicut (I think that time it was called as REC - Regional Engineering College earlier and not NIT - National Institute of Technology). 

Tellicherry (Thalassery), Kannur, Kasargod

From Calicut, we traveled northwards passing through places like Tellicherry (Thalassery), Kannur and Kasargod.

I remember we took a walk on the beach at Tellicherry and also met a gentleman from that area who in fact took us on short-drive in his own car and also took us to his house for a while.

He was such a nice gentleman that he dropped us at the bus station as well!

Back to Bangalore via Mangalore

Finally, after being in the travel mode for 4 days, we reached Mangalore, which is actually a coastal town in Karnataka. We boarded a bus back for Bangalore in the evening and were back in Bangalore the next morning.

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